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Kelly Gowan: Taking Strength from Her Art

How an Emerging East Texas Artist Beat Breast Cancer and Made Her Dreams Come True

In the spirit of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, I am proud to introduce an amazing abstract artist, who also happens to be a stage III Breast Cancer Survivor. Her name is Kelly Gowan, and she is someone you are definitely going to want to follow.

Earlier this year, Kelly was accepted in the prestigious Fort Worth Main Street Arts Festival, where more than 1,500 artists applied and only about 215 were accepted. By the end of the weekend her booth had sold out, and the event proved to be a springboard from which she hasn’t slowed down.

Her styles are unique with jaw dropping large pieces of abstract resins that look like oceans or marble geode rocks. She slips into her painting zone where she mixes resin with various mediums and inks, while utilizing a blow torch and heat gun to achieve the end results. She also does abstract acrylics utilizing water and movement to create unique pieces. These crazy acrylics are done outside where she can be as messy as she wants. Her paintings are all created from feelings of the moment. The images formed during the process can betray many different emotions, but you will see in her work it is mostly peace, happiness, and strength. She has successfully worked with clients’ homes and businesses to come up with pieces of art that truly add beauty to the environment and she welcomes commissioned work.

Kelly is excited to have her first art exhibition in Tyler. If you enjoy art, food, and drinks, you should come see her October 14th, 1-8pm, at Tyler Innovation Pipeline, 217 E. Oakwood St., Downtown Tyler, just blocks from the activities of Tyler’s main street and across from the Tyler Transit Department and Cotton Belt Depot.

Drinks are being donated by True Vine Brewery, and there will be some local food trucks as well. The Tyler Innovation Pipeline is housed in an early 20th century building that was completely renovated with all new state of the art technology and machinery for an entrepreneurship shared space of the community’s freelancers, consultants, and Shark Tank want-to-be’s. Gowan’s art is now on display throughout the entire building and is also for sale. There will be auctioned art on October 14th during the monthly Hit the Bricks event Downtown, as well as other pieces and prints you can purchase and take with you.

Kelly’s art is displayed in a growing list of other East Texas locations as well. As part of its interior renovation, Wasabi’s Sushi Restaurant off Broadway and Donnybrook Ave. is hosting a six-month exhibit of Kelly’s pieces throughout the restaurant that are for sale.

Her pieces are also featured in what she calls “a hidden gem for great pizza” at Moe’s Pizza near Holly Lake Ranch. Moe recently renovated his restaurant after a flood, and the modern new interior design with tall ceilings and gorgeous cedar beam accents make for a great place to hang some of her art.

Kelly Gowan is an amazing example of what happens when someone goes through a life altering experience, such as breast cancer. She went from owning a staffing company, living in Dallas, to fulfilling her dreams of living on a lake and painting. But before she got to where she is today, she was truly put to the test of life with cancer.

Kelly was only 31 and had two babies in diapers in 2005 when she was diagnosed with the most aggressive type of breast cancer, stage III, in her lymph nodes. Her cancer was detected because she felt a lump while taking a shower.  Initially it was thought to be related to recently having had babies, but later found out it was cancer. Before she knew it, her life spiraled, and she had a port installed to administer chemo, a lumpectomy, which did not get all the cancer, a bi-lateral mastectomy, radiation, reconstruction, and after care.

She is here today as a testimony to anyone going through cancer, to never give up and to follow your dreams. She believes very strongly in the power of prayer and staying positive. All that she went through helped bring her to where she is today.

When not creating resins in her inside studio, she loves to be outside with her paint, canvas, and water. Not only the water in the lake giving her inspiration, but she is a messy painter who uses water with various mediums to achieve a specific look such as in the painting of a tree she called “Strength.” “Strength” was actually a painting she submitted to apply as an artist in the Fort Worth Main Street Art Show.

Strength is what Kelly truly represents. Prints of this painting will be for sale at her exhibition on October 14th at Tyler Innovation Pipeline.

For more info about Kelly’s journey of art and life go to or find Kelly Gowan Art on Facebook.



On Exhibit at The University of Texas at Tyler Art Galleries

UT Tyler hosts several galleries with a variety of art on exhibit. For more info, call (903)566-7237 or email On exhibit this month:

There are several galleries. The Meadows Gallery is located within the R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center on the campus of UT Tyler and features rotating exhibitions. The Meadows Gallery exhibition schedule includes nationally known guest artist exhibitions, the Annual International Exhibition, faculty curated exhibitions, MFA thesis exhibitions, and a student juried exhibition each summer.

The UC Gallery is located on the second floor of the University Center. This gallery is dedicated to exhibiting student work.

The Fine Arts Complex (FAC/ARC) Gallery is located in the new Fine Arts Complex. The FAC Gallery provides a place for invited artists, undergraduates, and graduate students to display their works. In conjunction with art history courses, students have curated exhibitions from the Tyler Museum of Art’s permanent collection, given talks on the work, and hosted opening receptions in the gallery.

Exhibits scheduled are:

  • Thru March 9th – 33rd Annual International Exhibition

  • March 22nd (6pm) – MFA Thesis Exhibition Reception: Daniel Jake Arnold (Meadows Gallery)

  • March 29th (6pm) – MA Thesis Exhibition Reception: Kirsti Smith (FAC Gallery)

  • April 7th – 4th Annual Art History Symposium (ARC 112)

  • April 10th (5:30pm) – MA Thesis Presentation by JoBeth Cox (ARC 112)

  • April 12th (6pm) – MFA Thesis Exhibition Reception: Brandon Witschi (Meadows Gallery)

  • April 19th (5:30pm) – BA Thesis Presentation by Cree Summerfield (ARC 112)

  • April 19th (6pm) – 1st BFA Thesis Exhibition Reception (FAC Gallery)

  • April 26th (6pm) – 2nd BFA Thesis Exhibition Reception (FAC Gallery)

  • May 3rd (6pm) Annual Juried Student Exhibition Reception and Juror Talk (Meadows Gallery)

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Call for Artist: “Unfettered” Exhibit April 7th


Call for Artist:

“Unfettered” Exhibit April 7th at Wagner Auto Group, Tyler

Attention artists: submission for the Art Show “Unfettered” to be held Saturday, April 7th (7-11pm), Wagner Auto Group, Tyler. This one night curated art show will have a scene like no other. “This will be an extremely exciting evening out to peruse original art, watch live art demos, and check out some extremely talented art vendors,” said Kerian Massey, curator of the show.

“We are looking for a variety of art with the theme of ‘Unfettered.’ To be unfettered is to come undone, to let go or to become free, without ties. Any artwork that carries this theme in any loose fashion will be considered.”

For more info contact Kerian Massey at or call (903)714-7414

All art will be juried in by a panel of judges. Notice of Acceptance will be given Monday, March 26th.

For those who want to be a part of the show but would like to sell more, there will be an area for select fine art for sale. All artwork is subject to review for quality and content. Absolutely no resale items with the exception of canvas prints and fine art prints.

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Art Events SPRING-ing Up For The Season


Events & Classes

Call for Artists & Vendors – April In Edom is April 21st-22nd and is an old fashioned folk, street fair for adults, kids and pets. There is free admission.  At April in Edom, you can find 125 plus vendors with handmade and folk crafts, demonstrations, vintage items, great foods, awesome kids’ zone with arts and activities, pet parades and  contests, 40 Performers on 3 Stages, and a Fire 5K Run. To apply, go to, email, or call (844)633-6689.

March 15th (6-8pm) – Watercolor Painting Class – M6’s first Watercolor Painting Class cost is $40 and includes all of your materials and a complimentary glass of M6 Wine. Reserve your seat at Feel free to bring snacks to enjoy while you paint. M6 Winery is located at 201 W. Main St., Bullard. This class is taught by Chelsea Presley.

March 24th (12 noon – 5pm) – Azalea Trails Art Show – Join during the Azalea Trails season as Smith County Historical Society hosts local artist John Randall York upstairs in the Payne Auditorium at SCHS building, 125 S. College Ave., Downtown Tyler. “We are so excited to see the wonderful showcase John will have available to the public. The Society is working with John to provide supplemental histories of his subjects and for the works he will have available for sale. Please join us for a viewing and history of multiple local landmarks.” If you would like more information please feel free to contact the Smith County Historical Society at

May 12th (4-10pm) – TJC Art Club 15 Year Reunion – Have you ever been in Art Club? Have you ever taken an art class at TJC? Has Chris Stewart ever intimidated you? Do think Paul Jones is weird? Do you want to see old friends or make new ones? Come hang out, reminisce, reconnect and have a beer at True Vine Brewing Company, 2453 Earl Campbell Parkway, Tyler. This will be a great for old and new friends alike.

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